What is the best depression treatment?

It can be very difficult to predict which depression treatment works best for you. It depends on how you live your life, what your preferences are and how your body works. Here’s a list with several evidence-based depression treatments that work for most people: 

  • Some lifestyle factors have a significant impact on depressive symptoms. Regular exercise is as effective as antidepressants or psychotherapy for treating depression. Other important lifestyle factors are sleep, diet and regular meditation. Read more about 5 treatments for depression without medication. 
  • Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) is a form of gentle brain stimulation that you can use at home. It restores the brain activity in an area in the frontal lobe, the DLPFC, which is usually reduced in depressed people. Currently, there is a growing interest in tDCS due to its mild side effect profile. It’s recommended for mild to moderate depression, but can be used in all cases of depression. Read more about tDCS.  
  • Antidepressant medication is a well-used treatment recommended for moderate to severe depression. There are several types of antidepressants and the most common form is called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). It’s important to be aware of the possible side effects and withdrawal symptoms before taking antidepressants. Read more about antidepressant medication.
  • Psychotherapy with a psychologist will not only get you out of depression, but also give you tools for how to manage life in new ways and break old patterns of behaviour. There are many types of psychotherapy, for example Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Short-term Psychodynamic Therapy (STPP) and Interpersonal Therapy (IPT). Psychotherapy is recommended for mild to moderate depression.

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